Plato's Parable of the MMORPG

in philosophy •  2 months ago  (edited)

Plato's Parable of the MMORPG,

Once upon a time there were a number of people who lived in complete darkness and the only thing they could see was their computer screens.

What they saw on their screens was their reality.

The only other people they knew were people in-game with magnificent costumes and weapons.

Sure they had to fumble in the darkness in order to microwave a quick meal, or find their bed when they were exhausted, but those were merely incidental inconveniences.

Only the game was real. Only the game was shared experience. Only in-game places and people and items were quantifiable, able to be observed and verified and shared with other players (quanta).

Sometimes an individual would try to explain what kind of food they ate or describe their room (private/personal/unshared knowledge, gnosis) but since none of this information was directly relevant in-game and was fundamentally unverifiable, it was dismissed out-of-hand as unintelligible nonsense. In fact, even the language they had developed had evolved exclusively for in-game interactions, so there really weren't any proper words for "food" or "room" that were not specifically in-game references, and even more than that, since there was no taste, touch, or smell in-game, there were also no words to properly describe those sensations as well.

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Clever. I like it!
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